Education briefs: Sherrell wins outstanding high school science teacher award

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 11, 2021

SALISBURY – Nicole Sherrell, a science teacher at Carson High School was presented with the 2021 North Carolina Science Teachers Association District 6 Outstanding High School Science Teacher Award at the annual 52nd NCSTA Awards Ceremony on Nov. 4

The award is given to a person exhibiting leadership in science education, contributing to improvements in science education and excelling in the aspects of science education. This honor is determined by Sherrell’s professional excellence and contributions to science education in North Carolina.

“Mrs. Sherrell is a teacher who puts in the extra effort and hours to ensure that students learn her curriculum and connect it to the real world. Students do not simply learn information just to know. She creates opportunities for them to apply and use what they have learned,” said Carson Instructional Design Coach Brian Whitson said. “Students are enthusiastic and excited to learn in her classroom. She develops positive and empowering relationships with her students that propel them forward in the learning process. She is an incredible educator who pushes her students to learn while developing a firm foundation in scientific literacy.”

Wallace and Graham seeking applications for 2021 scholarships

The Salisbury law firm Wallace and Graham, PA, through its “Wallace & Graham Gives” community initiative, is excited to announce that it will continue its scholarship program launched in 2020 and will be awarding a total of $10,000 to five deserving Rowan County high school seniors ($2,000 each).

The committee is seeking applicants who have overcome some significant adversity to achieve excellence in academics and/or leadership during their high school career.

For more than 40 years, Wallace & Graham has represented clients who are fighting through a major adversity – whether it is having been diagnosed with an aggressive work-related cancer, being badly injured in an auto accident, or dealing with the death of a loved-one due to the wrongful act of another.

“We are honored to recognize those of our next generation of Rowan County leaders who have similarly fought to overcome a significant adversity while achieving academic and/or leadership excellence in high school,” the firm said in a news release.

The application, requirements, and other information can be found at The application must be submitted  by Feb. 1 to the student’s respective school counselor for consideration.

N.C. Department of Public Instruction to develop statewide graduate portrait

The State Board of Education approved funding for the Department of Public Instruction to kick off a statewide initiative to create a “portrait of a graduate” to better define the skills students need for success after high school.

This work aligns with the SBE’s vision to ensure that every public school student in North Carolina is able to succeed academically and is prepared to pursue their chosen path after graduation.

This portrait will eventually become a tool for districts to identify and highlight the skills, attributes and knowledge that students should possess when they graduate high school to be prepared for the post-secondary plans of their choice.

Once developed, this portrait will help parents, students and school leaders better understand the individual strengths and overall readiness of high school students for life after graduation.

The portrait is intended to serve as a more balanced measure, demonstrating a student’s growth and achievement and ensuring their readiness for civic life, career or college. It will serve as a model ensuring that North Carolina schools are preparing every student for a successful future.

A portion of the approved funding will be used by the Department to contract with a vendor who will facilitate community stakeholder discussions throughout all eight state education regions. As North Carolina’s workforce needs vary widely across the state, the regionally held focus groups will help capture regional differences for the development of a statewide model.

These discussions will revolve around the types of skills, attributes and knowledge that students should have developed for future success. The focus group discussions will be scheduled over the next few months and will involve a variety of stakeholders, including business owners, church and community representatives, higher-education leaders, school administrators, parents, educators, and students.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt stressed the importance in bringing together a variety of voices to identify the qualities to include in the portrait, while also emphasizing the need for North Carolina to develop such a tool.

The portrait of a graduate is part of Operation Polaris, the State Superintendent Catherine Truitt’s four-year strategic vision that was unveiled in September. The portrait is part of that effort, which includes reforming accountability and testing in North Carolina’s K-12 schools.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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